Yuli Gurriel
Yuli Gurriel
34-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Houston Astros
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The numbers may not jump off the page, but Gurriel had a fine season for fantasy purposes, finishing as a top-20 first baseman ahead of the likes of Joey Votto and Eric Hosmer. His defensive metrics were not exactly glowing, but his ability to at least hold his own around the infield gave the Astros some flexibility during absences of top stars Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. He posted an 11.0% K-rate, which was an exact copy of his 2017 mark -- he did that despite a significant uptick in his O-Swing%. Gurriel improved dramatically against opposite-handed pitching, hitting .331/.371/.519 against lefties, up from .252/.300/.395 in 2017. He experienced a decline against right-handed pitching and an overall dip in power, but as he approaches his 35th birthday, Gurriel still has a solid foundation of skills. It seems like a decent bet that Gurriel, now third-base eligible, will clear 500 plate appearances again for Houston. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract with the Astros in July of 2016.
Finishing spring as it started
1BHouston Astros
March 23, 2019
Gurriel went 1-for-2 with a solo home run and a walk in Friday's game against the Mets.
ANALYSIS
The homer was Gurriel's first of what has been a stellar spring. He started out hot and hasn't let up, posting a .371 average and 1.036 OPS over 35 at-bats. Manager AJ Hinch plans to move him around the infield, much as did last season, so Gurriel may bring position versatility to fantasy lineups. His bat doesn't profile as powerful as a traditional corner infielder, but he'll be helpful for roster construction if he's qualified at middle infield (15 starts at 2B in 2018).
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+1%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+28%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+24%
OPS vs RHP
2016
 
 
+38%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .766 371 48 11 55 5 .284 .323 .443
Since 2016vs Right .775 903 104 23 120 4 .294 .323 .452
2018vs Left .889 170 30 7 31 3 .331 .371 .519
2018vs Right .693 403 40 6 54 2 .273 .303 .390
2017vs Left .695 160 15 3 18 1 .252 .300 .395
2017vs Right .865 404 54 15 57 2 .317 .344 .521
2016vs Left .537 41 3 1 6 1 .220 .220 .317
2016vs Right .739 96 10 2 9 0 .281 .323 .416
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+3%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+15%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+6%
OPS on Road
2016
 
 
+1%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .783 634 75 19 91 4 .286 .325 .459
Since 2016Away .762 640 77 15 84 5 .296 .322 .440
2018Home .802 294 39 10 53 2 .292 .333 .469
2018Away .699 279 31 3 32 3 .289 .312 .387
2017Home .793 270 30 8 33 1 .285 .322 .470
2017Away .840 294 39 10 42 2 .312 .340 .500
2016Home .673 70 6 1 5 1 .269 .300 .373
2016Away .680 67 7 2 10 0 .254 .284 .397
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Stat Review
How does Yuli Gurriel compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB/K
0.37
 
BB Rate
4.0%
 
K Rate
11.0%
 
BABIP
.306
 
ISO
.138
 
AVG
.291
 
OBP
.323
 
SLG
.428
 
OPS
.751
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Astros Depth Chart
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2012
2011
2010
2008
2007
2006
2005
Gurriel fared well in his first opportunity to play regularly in the big leagues and he has the Astros' first-base gig locked down, but a hand injury and suspension will delay him to start 2018. The right-handed batter showcased above-average contact skills last year (84.2 percent contact rate, 11.0 strikeout rate), and a lot of it was quality contact (89.9 mph average exit velocity, 35.1 percent hard contact rate). Even with a measly 3.9 percent walk rate, he has an excellent batting-average floor, and there may even be a little room for growth if he figures out lefties (.252/.300/.395). Gurriel is no spring chicken, but this kind of offensive skill set yields bankable production and typically ages well. The lineup around him is so good to where his run and RBI totals should be fine even if he remains mostly confined to the bottom third of the batting order.
2016 was a whirlwind for Gurriel that began with him defecting from Cuba after the Caribbean World Series in February. By June, MLB had determined he was a free agent and by July, the Astros signed the 32-year-old to a five-year, $47.5 million deal. That is a significant chunk of money to spend on someone past their statistical prime years, but given the status of the current free agent market, it comes across as a bargain. He spent a week at multiple minor league levels before coming up to stay with Houston. Gurriel made quite a bit of contact having barely been exposed to major league pitching, but put up numbers that we associate with a reserve middle infielder. It is easier to project him hitting .290 than it is to say he will hit 20 homers.
One of the most celebrated Cuban baseball players in recent years, Gurriel is already 32 years old so he is likely past his peak. Still, he's thought to be quickly ready for the majors after signing with the Astros in July after defecting from Cuba in February.
Gourriel is regarded as Cuba's top baseball player and perhaps the top player in the world not playing in MLB or Japan. The third baseman made a strong impression in the 2009 WBC with two home runs. He's a player to grab in keeper leagues that allow international players, but he's given no hint he intends to defect.
Gourriel is regarded as Cuba's top baseball player and perhaps the top player in the world not playing in MLB or Japan. The third baseman made a strong impression in the 2009 WBC with two home runs. He's a player to grab in keeper leagues that allow international players, but he's given no hint he intends to defect.
Gourriel is regarded as Cuba's top baseball player and perhaps the top player in the world not playing in MLB or Japan. The third baseman made a strong impression in the 2009 WBC with two home runs. He's a player to grab in keeper leagues that allow international players.
Gourriel, Cuba's revelation of the 2006 World Baseball Classic, had another strong season in 2007. In the Cuban Serie Nacional, Gourriel hit .345/.427/.503 with eight home runs and a league-leading 28 doubles in 89 games, with an incredible 23:50 K:BB ratio in 348 at-bats. In major tournament play (the Pan-Am Games and World Cup) for the Cuban national team, Gourriel hit .276 (16-for-58) with four homers in 15 games. Gourriel, still just 23, will play for Cuba at the 2008 Olympics as well as WBC II in 2009, and we can always hope for that change in the political climate that would allow this talented player to join an MLB team. In dynasty leagues, he's well worth stashing away.
Gourriel proved at the WBC that he's one of the best ballplayers on the planet, leading Cuba to the title game and making the all-tourney team in the process. If there's ever a real change in the political situation in Cuba, the 22-year-old infielder will be swarmed by agents and MLB brass immediately. Gourriel hit .347 (43-for-124) with seven homers in 34 games for Cuba last year (including Olympic qualifying and the WBC), and also led the Cuban Serie Nacional with 27 HR and 92 RBI -- great marks for a 90-game season. He even added 21 steals. He should be rostered in any serious dynasty league, because you just never know when he'll be available to MLB teams.
Gourriel hit eight homers in just 11 games at the World Cup in September and hit a resounding .319/.385/.894 to lead Cuba to the title. Although he's started at second base for Cuba in the past, Gourriel plays third base and bats cleanup in Cuba's lineup. Standard caveats about the reported age of Cuban players apply, but even if Gourriel might be a little bit older than his state-reported age of 21, he'd be one heck of a prospect if he ever became available to MLB teams.
Note: first name spelled "Yulieski" by some media sources.
More Fantasy News
Hot start to spring
1BHouston Astros
March 3, 2019
Gurriel went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in Sunday's game against Washington.
ANALYSIS
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Will move around in spring
1BHouston Astros
February 18, 2019
Gurriel will play spring-training games at second and third base, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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Not in Game 1 lineup Saturday
1BHouston Astros
September 29, 2018
Gurriel is not in the lineup for Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Orioles but will man third base and bat cleanup in Game 2, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
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Sits out Friday
1BHouston Astros
September 28, 2018
Gurriel is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Orioles.
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Grabs breather Thursday
1BHouston Astros
September 27, 2018
Gurriel is not in the lineup Thursday against the Orioles, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
ANALYSIS
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